What topic needs to be discussed most in the upcoming Governor's race?
Second Amendment
Transportation
Education
Abortion/life issues
COVID response
Northwest Observer
Subscribe for Free Email Updates
Name:
Email:
Search Articles
       
Oregon Direct Democracy: How it Started in Oregon
Facing a great deal of corruption in the political system, Oregon passed many reforms

Editor's note: This is the first of a multi-part series on direct democracy in Oregon

In The Oregon System by Allen H. Eaton, the author describes the political possibilities in Oregon:

"Of all the democracies in the world, the state of Oregon is the one in which the people can make or unmake at will any law, constitutional or statutory, elect or recall any official, -- in short, do anything in politics which they wish to do, for there is practically no limitation to their political powers."

During the late 19th century, facing a great deal of corruption in the political system, Oregon passed many reforms to its election system. Amazingly, it wasn't until 1891 that Oregon first passed a law requiring a secret ballot and almost equally amazingly, Oregon first passed a law requiring a system of voter registration in 1899.

On the heels of these reforms, in 1902 the Oregon Legislature passed and the people approved -- by a vote of 91% -- amendments to the Oregon Constitution allowing the initiative and referendum process, championed by Populist reformer William U’Ren. The first use of the initiative process was a measure passed in 1904 to create primary elections and end the practice of parties picking nominees through political conventions.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-08-13 20:34:01Last Update: 2021-08-13 17:14:31



Read More Articles